Fast Food Review: McRib from McDonald’s

I’ve been anxiously awaiting November 2nd for the McRib’s return.  A week from today, the McRib is back.  Well driving by a McDonald’s today, I come to find that the McRib is back early… for me anyway.  Of course I hit the drive-thru and paid my $2.79 for a taste of nostalgia.  It’s been well over a decade since the last time I set tastebuds on the McRib.  Time to review.

So nostalgia… what exactly does it taste like?  Um, sorta like that fakey-sweet BBQ sauce you find in those cheap barbecue frozen dinners. While it’s not the tastiest, most decadent BBQ pork sandwich you’ll come across, it’s one of the few choices of this style you’ll find in fast food.  When the McRib makes an appearance in random places and is so darn hard to find, the thrill of the hunt makes this average sandwich the stuff of legends. In my opinion, the McRib has always been just OK, if not mediocre.  The elusiveness of the McRib has been the biggest draw for me. I’ve been on my fair share of McRib hunts and have used the McRib locator with no success.

As I mentioned in my Food News post a couple weeks ago, the McRib is a boneless pork product shaped into a BBQ sauce slathered “rib-like” slab, topped with pickles and onions and sandwiched between a corn dusted bun.  I’m sure a lot of you already know what you’re getting into when it comes to the McRib.  You don’t really want to question what it is or how it’s made, just dive in and enjoy.  The BBQ sauce used, well, I’m not a big fan of it.  It’s sweet without spice and a good BBQ sauce for me has a nice balance of both. My version of the McRib would use Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ sauce… and I’d be in heaven.  I like the onions in the McRib for the flavor variety and crunch, but the pickles are just pointless to me. I’m no fan of the pickles used in everything McDonald’s has to offer because I’ve always found them to be overly sour (but the pickles used in the Angus Burgers are pretty good).  The McRib bun is decent and does the job, but beware of a corn dusted bun leaving it’s dust everywhere.  My McRib was hot and all the ingredients seemed proportioned right.  For $2.79 (sandwich alone), I felt the McRib was priced fair.

In closing, the McRib will always be worth a buy for me just as long as it goes away for years and pokes it’s head out every once in a while.  It’s not a great sandwich to me, but it does have some fanatics out there.  Either you love it or hate it seems to be the consensus, although I find myself kinda in the middle.  I love the McRib once every decade and that’s good enough for me.

Pros: Priced Fair. Nice bun. Crunchy, flavorful onions. I've always liked the name McRib. Nostalgia.

Cons: Messy and not meant for grubbing on the go. Not a fan of the pickles. Wish the BBQ sauce had some spice to go along with the sweet.

Taste: 6.00/10
Value: 6.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.00/10
Price: $2.79

Overall GrubGrade: 6.00/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 500
Fat - 26 grams
Saturated Fat - 10 grams
Cholesterol - 70 milligrams
Sodium - 980 milligrams
Fiber - 3 grams
Sugars - 11 grams
Protein - 22 grams

28 comments on “Fast Food Review: McRib from McDonald’s

  1. J.B. says:

    I agree, the McRib is fine the way it is, every once in awhile.
    It it not a great sandwich, but it is great because it only comes out once in awhile and there is nothing else like it.

    Can’t wait until it is here.

  2. Anna says:

    No fair. I still am waiting…can I move there?

  3. Heidi says:

    I don’t get it. It’s just all around strange…the texture of the patty and the sauce. Sorry! My mother, however, loves them.

  4. I dig the McRib, in all of its mediocre glory.

  5. skippymom says:

    I saw the title and thought “Oh hell” 🙂 No offense because I know there are lovers out there – but this sandwich always wigged me out – it is so…um…fake, maybe.

    And you keep saying pickles. I see one – I actually like the pickles on McDs sandwiches, but I have to ask – Does McDs actually use a different pickle on the Angus – that would seem to be a pain in the patoot.

    I am happy for all the McRib lovers out there. Enjoy!

  6. Melo says:

    Thanks, I just got a McRib today after reading this. I’m in Orange County, CA and so far it looks like all of the McDonald’s I’ve seen in this area have them as of today.

  7. Bunny says:

    @ Melo

    Which McD’s is selling them right now?

  8. Melo says:


    These are the ones on my commute and they have them for sure:

    Mc Donald’s
    1400 S Beach Blvd, La Habra, CA
    (562) 690-4682

    Mc Donald’s
    2505 E Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA
    (714) 671-1850

  9. Francois says:

    I’ve tasted pretty much every part of the pig and I have no idea what the “McRib” is made out of. I’m not completely sure that it’s even pork, or meat.

  10. rob says:

    I found the “mouth feel” of the product to be repulsive.

  11. Brett says:

    Bring the McRib back to Australia! We haven’t seen it in like 20+ years!

  12. Adam Bomb says:

    My high school used to serve their version of the McRib back in the mid to late 90’s. It was a lesser quality pork rib-shaped patty than McD’s uses, and the “bbq sauce” was like a big vat of oily water with no more than 3 drops of actual bbq sauce mixed in. They would dip the patties in the sauce as they served them. Bad stuff.

    You know what fast food bbq sandwich I miss? The Arby-Q. It was delicious when made right, and terrible when made wrong.

  13. Izzy says:

    Awesome review… thanks for posting this. The pictures are getting me so hungry. I, like most of you, keep my head in the sand and try not to think of what exactly the McRib is made of… ignorance is bliss.

  14. John B says:

    They have the McRib in DC where I am at, next to the Verizon Center.

  15. Greg B. says:

    Aah the memory of pulling the lid off of the simmering sauce and ribs and damn near going blind. The sauce has some kind of spice in it cause when its really hot it can choke you up and bring tears to your eyes.

    Can any other former Mc D’s manager or crew 2nd me on that?

  16. wordisbond says:

    Ah, the elusive McRib. I had one once and I liked it but was not blown away. I don’t get the hype myself. I’d rather have a Big Mac.

  17. Tony jaguar says:

    Pokes it’s head out? Prairie dogging comes to mind, vile

  18. even though i hate fast food, every year, i have to eat at least 1 McRib meal….it draws me in every time…i don’t know why

  19. Christian says:

    I was taken in by all the hype, and after 28 years of never having tried one, I finally caved. I was highly disappointed. I really couldn’t taste any pork flavor and the bbq sauce was just about as boring and bland as you can get. I think the meat had a lot of fillers in it. I’m bias though, because I live in the Kansas City metro area, where if you don’t have good bbq sauce and/or meat, you are shamed and forced to leave the city. I also think Mcdonald’s bbq sauce in those little tubs is the WORST I’ve ever had in my life.

  20. Jessica Leigh says:

    When I had this recently, it wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be from when I was young. It was quite sad, really.

  21. M Allen says:

    @ Adam – The Arby Q… how I miss it. I tried to make my own by chopping up some plain Arbys roast beef and simmering with BBQ sauce. Not the same.

    I do like the McRib though. I’ve had one or two since they came back.

  22. Anonymous says:

    If they used Sweet Baby Ray’s instead of the crap sauce they use, what’s the difference? Both red substances are 3/4 honey anyways. No wonder bees are dying off. If you were a bee, wouldn’t you get pissed about a primate in a white burqa stealing the honey you worked to make? Let the bees keep the honey and use real BBQ sauce, like Open Pit, the original.

  23. Jimmy says:

    It’s awesome. I have them on a weekly basis. Since Nov2 that is

  24. jesika says:

    i had a party recently, and one of my guests came straight from work at mcdonalds toting an extra mcrib he didnt want. people fell on that thing like rabid dogs, it was hilarious.
    personally i dont see what the attraction is. we used to get these in high school [anyone else?] and they were a “i guess its better than starving all day” kind of lunch. then again, my gf who ate the mcrib is dutch, so maybe theyre not used to crappy food there. they probably have awesome pannekoeken lunches every day.

  25. Mattitude says:

    I would eat this everyday of the week and enjoy the Mcheartburn along with it!

  26. dk says:

    I had the McRib. It was OK at best. The only thing it gave me was the McLiquids.

  27. i dont care what anyone says. this is my yearly tradition. FOREVER.

  28. […] making a return this week.  A limited time offering at participating locations.  Here’s our McRib review from last year.  Thoughts on the McRib? Tasty sandwich or just a lot of odd hype?Tags: McDonald's, […]